The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland calls for urgent implementation of Slaintecare health reforms

When Slaintecare was published last year under the leadership of Róisín Shortall T.D., echoing many of the key recommendations of the RCPI Towards 2026 Report, the College emphasised the crucial need for political consensus and the establishment of a dedicated programme office to drive its implementation.

The Slaintecare Report contains the relevant components for health system reform and we support them. However, immediate action must be taken to deliver a health service that is patient-focused, integrated and committed to encompassing the healthcare needs of all our citizens.

Professor Mary Horgan

RCPI President

Last week’s report from the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner highlighted the urgent need for eHealth records in our hospitals- a basic entitlement for all patients is that their records and information is secure and accessed only by authorized personnel. The Government must prioritise their commitment under Slaintecare to investment in electronic records for all hospitals as soon as possible.

Doctors face challenges everyday as a result of overcrowding, poor resourcing and inadequate hospital facilities - this has a negative impact on both doctors and patients. Major, sustained emphasis is needed on strengthening and supporting the people who deliver care to ensure the highest standard of care is given to all patients.

Health reform is a slow process that doesn’t happen overnight and the Government need to move forward now quickly to implement those recommendations they promised a year ago.

Dr Tom Keane

Chair RCPI Towards 2026 Report

Towards 2026 was a policy initiative from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland that included more than 100 participants including patients and carers, doctors and other healthcare professionals, hospital managers and policymakers who, over a year-long process, developed recommendations on how to reconfigure the health services to ensure they are centred around patients’ needs.

We are at a major decision point for our health services in Ireland. Real vision and leadership is required at political, policy and clinical levels. As outlined in the Slaintecare Report, all those with responsibility at every level of the health service must be held accountable for making the changes that are so urgently needed.

Leo Kearns